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Discussion Starter #1
I test drove a Model 3 yesterday, it's a vastly better car than the Volt, which is no surprise because it's a $60K car vs a $40K car, but beyond that it's the best car I've ever driven. The place where it's worse is in the UI, putting everything on a touch screen is a bad idea, and it's lack of Android Auto which limits it to a single streaming radio service, one that you've never heard of, voice recognition requires you to touch a button instead of just talking to it, and no integration of Google Calendar and Contacts yet. More importantly I don't see how Tesla can stay out of bankruptcy given their current finances and the fact that Musk has serious mental issues. I'd love to see a Cadillac competitor for the Model 3, if they had an electric sedan that was as good as the Model 3 I'd buy it. The Jaguar and VW group offerings aren't interesting, they have no more range than the Bolt with batteries that are 50% bigger. GM had an early lead with the Volt and the Bolt but they haven't made a peep about their next EV, all they say is 20 electrified cars by 2023. I'm not willing to wait until 2023, I want a BEV next year, 2020 at the latest, and right now the only car that has sufficient range is the Model 3, but that comes with the baggage of a company that might not survive another year, or might end up being bought by the Chinese when they go bankrupt.
 

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Last November, GM CEO Mary Barra said GM plans to launch "at least 20" all-new all-electric vehicles by 2023. The first two, coming next year, will be based on GM's existing technology as used in the Chevrolet Bolt EV.

What the rest of the details are is anyone's guess, including the markets where the cars will be available.
 

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I too think the Tesla Model 3 is very interesting. It may even be compelling in another year or two. In the interim, I leased a 2018 Volt Premier- the most attractive competitor to the 3 - I’m very pleased with that choice.

In 2+ years, when the lease is ending, I’ll look again. By then the Model 3 will, I assume, be a steady competitor, and we’ll all know more about GM’s developments and plans. Meanwhile, I purchased a selectable output Lever 2 charger (EVSE) for my garage.
 

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I test drove a Model 3 yesterday, it's a vastly better car than the Volt, which is no surprise because it's a $60K car vs a $40K car, but beyond that it's the best car I've ever driven. The place where it's worse is in the UI, putting everything on a touch screen is a bad idea, and it's lack of Android Auto which limits it to a single streaming radio service, one that you've never heard of, voice recognition requires you to touch a button instead of just talking to it, and no integration of Google Calendar and Contacts yet. More importantly I don't see how Tesla can stay out of bankruptcy given their current finances and the fact that Musk has serious mental issues. I'd love to see a Cadillac competitor for the Model 3, if they had an electric sedan that was as good as the Model 3 I'd buy it. The Jaguar and VW group offerings aren't interesting, they have no more range than the Bolt with batteries that are 50% bigger. GM had an early lead with the Volt and the Bolt but they haven't made a peep about their next EV, all they say is 20 electrified cars by 2023. I'm not willing to wait until 2023, I want a BEV next year, 2020 at the latest, and right now the only car that has sufficient range is the Model 3, but that comes with the baggage of a company that might not survive another year, or might end up being bought by the Chinese when they go bankrupt.
Don't forget the supercharging network if you have any interest in cross country trips.
 

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... The place where it's worse is in the UI, putting everything on a touch screen is a bad idea, and it's lack of Android Auto which limits it to a single streaming radio service, one that you've never heard of, voice recognition requires you to touch a button instead of just talking to it, and no integration of Google Calendar and Contacts yet...
Just to clarify: one can stream from any service (e.g., Pandora, Spotify, etc) from your phone via bluetooth. No need to touch the button on the screen for voice commands. Pressing the right thumbwheel on the steering wheel in does the same thing. Calendar integration is in v9 of the software (https://www.tesla.com/support/software-v9) and has just started 'rolling out' via over-the-air updates.
 

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I wouldn't call it a Model 3 competitor, and it's not a BEV, but my parents just picked up a certified 2017 Cadillac CT6 PHEV with 5000 miles on it for $42,000. It has tons of tech and gadgets and it's plenty fast (5.2 sec 0-60). It will only do 31 miles on electric, but it will do it in large, luxury sedan comfort. I only had about 90 minutes of seat time in it, but I was really impressed.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Don't forget the supercharging network if you have any interest in cross country trips.
The supercharger network is a huge pro for Tesla. Here are my pros vs cons

Pros
1) Driving. I'd describe the experience as effortless. The Volt has made me sensitive to noise, it's so much quieter than any conventional car. The Model 3 is much quieter, it eliminates the road noise and the roughness of the road.

2) Supercharger network. I've been monitoring the SC network ever since I bought the Volt to see when they would have sufficient coverage for me to go everywhere that I go in New England. As of July they filled the big hole that was Maine by putting an SC in Kennebunk Port.

3) Frequent OTA software updates. Tesla's get significantly better as you own them, that's not true for any ohter brand. GM releases a car and then does nothing but bug fixes for years, and if you want those fixes you have to take the car to a dealer. The 2019 Volt is virtually unchanged from the 2016, certainly the modest improvements wouldn't entice anyone to upgrade.

Cons, there are a lot of them.

1) Pending bankruptcy. Tesla is going to run out of cash in a few months. Not only do they continue to burn cash they have a billion dollar convertible bond that's due next year. Musk has done everything he can to antagonize Wall Street, where is he going to get the money when his piggy bank is empty? I won't buy a Tesla until I know this plays out. If their stock crashes so that Tesla's valuation becomes reasonable my hope is that Jeff Bezos buys them, either as part of Amazon or his own portfolio. I'd be less happy if Apple bought them but might still be willing to buy one, if they are aquired by a Chinese company then I'd have zero interest in owning one. The stock will have to drop by a factor of 10 for an auto company to buy them, right now they are valued at almost as much as GM and more than Ford. If they were acquired by an auto company, Ford for example because they are way behind on EVs, then their production problems and service problems would be fixed but that isn't possible at anywhere near their current valuation.

2) Service. They will come to your driveway if you don't need to be put on a lift but otherwise you have to take it to a service center, and those aren't convenient. My Chevy dealer is 15 minutes away, if they screw up then I have two more Chevy dealers within a 15 minute drive. The nearest Tesla service center is 45 minutes away if you go in the middle of the night, but if you go in the afternoon it's two to three hours away because of where they put it.

3) No Android Auto. I think they get their mapping data from Google but there is no way that they are going to do a better job than Google Maps. The only streaming service that they have is some no name service, no Pandora, no Amazon, no anyone else. The voice recognition requires a button press, seemed to work but I didn't have a chance to really test it. Android Auto is always listening, if I want to change destinations or music I just tell it.

4) Elon Musk is mentally unbalanced. Who in their right might keeps poking a bear (the SEC). Who in their right mind libels a hero by calling him a pedophile, and then doubling down on it, and the tripling down. He's also completely undisciplined, why is Tesla spending money on semi's when they are desperately trying to ramp up their car production so that they can get to profitability? The problem for Tesla is they can't live with Muk and they can't live without him. Because of Musk they have a tech company valuation not a car company valuation, without him it's a car company. But he's not CEO material, he should be CTO but his ego doesn't allow that. I wouldn't be surprised if the SEC withdraws their settlement offer this week, or if the judge rejects it, then he may be forced to give up the CEO position.

Bottom line. In spite of how much I liked the car I won't make any sort of decision until spring when I hope that Tesla's future will be clearer. I'm also hoping that GM announces something by then even if it's a year away. A Cadillac competitor to the Model 3 would be ideal although it would suffer from a lack of a convenient charging network. A Voltec Cadillac with a 100 mile battery range would also be competitive.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Just to clarify: one can stream from any service (e.g., Pandora, Spotify, etc) from your phone via bluetooth. No need to touch the button on the screen for voice commands. Pressing the right thumbwheel on the steering wheel in does the same thing. Calendar integration is in v9 of the software (https://www.tesla.com/support/software-v9) and has just started 'rolling out' via over-the-air updates.
That's better than nothing but unless it displays what Pandora is playing then it's a big step backwards from Android Auto. How is the mapping?
 

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The supercharger network is a huge pro for Tesla. Here are my pros vs cons

Pros
1) Driving.

2) Supercharger network.

3) Frequent OTA software updates.

Cons, there are a lot of them.

1) Pending bankruptcy.

2) Service.

3) No Android Auto.

4) Elon Musk is mentally unbalanced.
I agree with 1-3 pros.

However as far as the cons go, remember GM went bankrupt? it was the Government who decided GM was too big to fail and helped save them (they probably could have restructured and done it without the government). Chrysler also went bankrupt. I am actually worried that GM, Ford and Chrysler may not survive as future companies in a disruptive technology event like the one that appears to be on its way.

I am concerned as an early adopter about service. But I read about those here in the forum who are running into crappy dealers that give crappy service at terribly inflated prices.

Also for me, an extended range vehicle with a larger battery pack would be more competitive, but I suspect that with dropping battery prices there should be more BEV's and PHEV's to choose from, just a matter of when. Ultimately I would prefer to be driving a commercial BEV that could do it all.
 

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That's better than nothing but unless it displays what Pandora is playing then it's a big step backwards from Android Auto. How is the mapping?
Mapping is fine. And yes it uses google map data. Traffic hot spots are shown as well. Admittedly I also use waze in parallel on the phone - at least for longer runs. Gotta maintain my "Royalty wazer" status. :) They will sometimes compute different routes - but that is the case between google and waze as well. I do the same on the Volt between the in-dash nav and waze.

It uses Slacker as a built-in streaming service. I have no real complaints about it - and there are no ads. The two others that I use, via bluetooth, are Pandora and Spotify. You do have to use the phone to choose a station. Once chosen, the album art, artist, and song are displayed on the big screen - along with back/skip and pause/play controls. It might be possible to use voice commands or some other search to change the station across the bluetooth connection without messing with the phone. But I haven't tried to figure that out yet.

The other built-in service is Tunein. This is great for listening to radio stations outside ones area. Also, since the Model 3 doesn't support AM radio reception, one can usually listen to the local AM stations that way.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I agree with 1-3 pros.

However as far as the cons go, remember GM went bankrupt? it was the Government who decided GM was too big to fail and helped save them (they probably could have restructured and done it without the government). Chrysler also went bankrupt. I am actually worried that GM, Ford and Chrysler may not survive as future companies in a disruptive technology event like the one that appears to be on its way.

I am concerned as an early adopter about service. But I read about those here in the forum who are running into crappy dealers that give crappy service at terribly inflated prices.

Also for me, an extended range vehicle with a larger battery pack would be more competitive, but I suspect that with dropping battery prices there should be more BEV's and PHEV's to choose from, just a matter of when. Ultimately I would prefer to be driving a commercial BEV that could do it all.
GM's and Chrysler's bankruptcies are a major reason why the valuations of car companies are so low. Cars are a cyclic business that requires huge amounts of capital and have huge fixed costs (i.e. factories), when the economy has a downturn the auto industry and the housing industry are the first to suffer. Tesla is valued like a tech company but it isn't, it's a car company. Apple doesn't own any factories, Foxconn takes that risk for them, and their margins are much higher than any car company can hope to achieve. Cars are expensive so there is a limit to how much you can mark them up and that's doubly true for mass market cars which operate in an extremely competitive market.
 

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I have a Bolt and a Model X -- no Volt, sorry. I don't do gas cars. While they are both EVs they are quite different, for different prices of course. The UI on the X is a bit different than the Model 3 of course but with the version 9 update my X is looking a little more 3-ish than I'd like. There's lots of discussion on the Tesla forums about the changes -- some love 'em, some hate 'em. The point is, the Tesla gets changes. I'm sure some of the things people hate will be fixed in a future release -- which will undoubtedly happen in a month or so. That's how often I get a 'new car.' I did get my entertainment system updated on the Bolt during a recall recently, which improved Android Auto a lot. Sure, the screen is now fully utilized, which is certainly a plus but it is not as laggy as before and it crashes less, which is an improvement. I just wish more updates would come a OTA like on the Tesla. Our Bolt Premier is a 2017 and I understand there are improvements on the 2019 we'll never see. That's not the GM way. There are Teslas sold in 2012 that just got the Version 9 update. Sure not all the new features work because they require newer hardware but those older cars weren't just left empty handed.

When I compare our two cars, here's the basics that matter to me.

Bolt wins on the 360 surround view for parking. The blind spot warnings are nice too. The Tesla has 360 'perspective' now when driving as it shows you the cars all around you on the dash. No overhead view (yet) like the 360 surround view on the Bolt. It may come someday in an update though. The cross traffic of the Bolt is better too. When parking at Costco between two big vans you just cannot see to back out. The Bolt's cross-traffic alert tells me not only that someone is coming, but from which direction.

LOVE the rear view mirror camera thing in the Bolt. It gives me a wide angle view behind me regardless of what is in the back seat or cargo area. I can turn on the backup camera in the Tesla which gives me a great view behind me too. In version 8 software we could put that camera view at the top of our big screen. In version 9 it only appears at the bottom of the big screen and is a major complaint against Version 9. I'm sure it will be fixed in the future, but for now, you have to look down to see it. The Bolt's mirror is just superior in that it is a natural place to look to see behind you and you're still able to see ahead in your peripheral vision.

I know you all love Android Auto but you cannot beat the Tesla router integrated with navigation to the supercharger network. I can route between two points 1000 miles apart and the router will pick supercharger stops for me, tell me how long I'll need to charge at each and how full I'll be when I get to the next charger. If things go south (say a 30 MPH headwind) the car will recognize I may run short and tell me how to adjust my driving to make it to the next charge stop -- or perhap choose a different charger while driving. In the Bolt all the charging stop calculations, how long to charge, where to charge, how much I'll still have (so how much to charge now) when I get to the next charger -- all me in the Bolt. Someday I hope this is an enhancement to google maps but for now, the router in the Tesla is just the ticket. Sure I can also run Android Auto on my phone while I use tesla Nav as well. I do this all the time and use the streaming from Android Auto on my phone to play music in the X. It works great.

The supercharger network itself is the big selling item for Tesla. If you don't road trip, get a Bolt. We have taken our Bolt on a 2300 mile plus road trip from Southern California to Northern Oregon and back. The trip in a gas car takes 2 days. In our Tesla it takes 2 days. In the Bolt it took 3 days due to the slow and sparse charging north of the Bay Area. The Bolt gets better mileage but the Tesla charges more than twice as fast even when the Bolt has access to the fastest chargers it can use. When traveling by Bolt many times we were just waiting on the Bolt to finish charging. With the Tesla we often charge more than we need because we aren't done with whatever we are doing when the car is ready to go.

Autopilot is just awesome for road trips. One thing the Volt has, and the Tesla has that the Bolt does not -- adaptive cruise control. The Tesla goes beyond with autosteer though too. When driving 1000 miles in the Tesla I drive maybe 50 miles of it. Autopilot does the rest. In a gas car or our Bolt, I drive a couple hours, then my wife drives a couple, then me, etc. In the Tesla I can drive the whole way no problem -- because AutoPilot does most of it.

The Bolt is much smaller so it's easier to drive around and park in a big city. Parking structures are often tight but the Bolt fits fine. Its better efficiency makes it our choice for driving around town. The much more cargo room, much more comfortable seats, faster charging, supercharger network, etc make the Tesla the best choice for road trips.
 

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Thanks for the review, hgpayne. A unique perspective to be sure.

Though I have a Volt and Bolt, I am 99.99% gas free since the gas engine on the Volt hasn't been needed in a very long time. The Bolt is our go to car, while the Volt is used either for shorter trips or very very long trips (these are rare, we would normally fly).
 

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I recently drove a Tesla Model 3, but I did not find it vastly superior to the Volt. In fact, I found it similar to the Volt. It had a quiet, smooth ride, but it was quicker and faster. It also costs 20 grand more than the Volt. In the Model 3, I didn't feel like I was driving a $50,000 car. It has no HUD and few convenience buttons and knobs. I don't like the big screen that is slapped onto the dashboard. And if that screen goes out, you're screwed. The TM3 is more spacious inside than the Volt, but it lacks a versatile lift back.

If the model S is only average in reliability, how well will a de-contented TM3 holdup, especially given the rushed assembly under a tent? Elon made the unfortunate decision to forego the usual hundreds of thousands of miles of testing before releasing the TM3, instead making his early adopters his beta-testers. I also don't like the way Tesla used bait and switch techniques to sell reservation holders a more expensive car. That's just wrong.
 

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I have a Bolt and a Model X -- no Volt, sorry. I don't do gas cars.
No need to apologize for not doing gas cars. If I could afford a Tesla, thereby availing myself of the Superchargers, I would not do gas either.

The Volt was simply the best affordable and practical option. And for 70% of miles driven, and nine out of 10 days, our Volt is not a gas car.

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And for 95% of the time my volt is not a gas car. For our other volt 90%. Not bad.


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So let me get this straight, you have two cars that are EV's 90-95% of the time. And you paid at most the same and probably less than one Model X.


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So let me get this straight, you have two cars that are EV's 90-95% of the time. And you paid at most the same and probably less than one Model X.

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Yup. Far less. A total net (after Tax credits) of 58 thousand for two premiers. And with the flexibility to drive cross country without advance planning.


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I bought a CPO '17 Volt Premiere for $25K. Love it.
I've driven a Model 3, twice now, and came away both times impressed with how much quieter, smoother and better riding my Volt is.
90% of my miles driven are fully electric..... So, 90% the experience for less than 50% the price of Model 3. What a deal!

And why are there so many Model 3's already on the used market?
Some of the ads are so ridiculous..."Sold out for the next several years...." "400K people waiting to get one......"
Tesla told me its a one week wait.
 

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And why are there so many Model 3's already on the used market?
Some of the ads are so ridiculous..."Sold out for the next several years...." "400K people waiting to get one......"
Tesla told me its a one week wait.
Speculators and tax scammers.
 
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